#NewtoNext, Perfectly Cordial, Rhonda Cammon
September 30, 2021 | Inspiration
Rhonda Cammon is determined to make sure you remember her name. Forget a hat rack; she needs an entire closest for all the hats she wears. Mother, wife, nurse, bartender, spirits connoisseur, entrepreneur—the labels don’t matter. Rhonda does it all.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rhonda was a full-time nurse dedicating the little free time she had to her Nashville-based business, Perfectly Cordial. Founded in 2019, Perfectly Cordial creates fresh fruit and spice-infused cocktail/mocktail mixers.
After learning about the 2020 Enthuse Foundation Pitch Competition from a CPG Founders Facebook Group, Rhonda reached out to the 2019 Winner, Effie Panagopoulos, for more information. After being reassured by Effie that the competition was legit, Rhonda applied and was selected as a finalist.
How have things evolved for Perfectly Cordial? Read on as we checked in on Rhonda and Perfectly Cordial one year later.
Watch the entire conversation here.
Enthuse Foundation (EF): So, I must ask. How does a registered nurse start a cocktail mixer company?
Rhonda Cammon, Founder, Perfectly Cordial (RC): I was always in the hospitality industry. I paid for nursing school by being a bartender and waitress. I love the restaurant and spirits industry. In 2015, my husband and I started Barseat with RSC, a mobile bartending and consulting service. But being a registered nurse, I’m very aware of the concerns around alcohol. So, seeing both sides of the coin and appreciating spirits, I knew there had to be a better way. So, when you know better, you do better. When you know better, you drink better. And I wanted to provide people a way to have a better drinking experience that allowed them to appreciate the spirit. But if you didn’t want to drink that day, you didn’t have to. And you could still have an excellent quality beverage, but just minus the alcohol.
EF: Why do you think your pitch deck stood out and was selected as a finalist?
CP: I made sure my deck was professionally done, engaging, and enticing, and flowed with the time frame we were given. If you’re provided with five minutes, you don’t want 50 slides, right? Also, people are visual. We use a lot of bright colors and imagery to convey what the brand is about. I hired a great graphic designer here in Nashville who worked hand-in-hand with me on the deck. We went through multiple iterations of it. For those who don’t know a graphic designer or have a limited budget, look at online resources like Upwork, a directory of professional freelancers. You are always going to encounter someone who wants more information about your business. A deck is almost like a virtual calling card for your business.
EF: What was your experience like being involved in the 2020 Enthuse Foundation Pitch Competition?
RC: I learned from the competition that there are a lot of great women-led businesses and women business owners out there. I felt super confident about my chances until I heard that first pitch. I was like, wow. This community is fantastic, and it’s vast, and it’s deep. However, the full benefit came after the competition attending the virtual happy hours and webinars. These experts and influential professionals are right there. The Enthuse Foundation events are very intimate, open, and a safe space for business-related items. It’s just been an excellent resource for me to go back to, ask questions, and meet other CPG business owners.
EF: What was it like to virtually pitch your business?
RC: I can only speak for myself. Pitching in a virtual environment was just as nerve-wracking as being in person. And so, practice. Practice, virtually. Get some friends. Get some colleagues. Pull some people from your neighborhood. Get up, get a Zoom link, and practice so that it will help with those nerves. But if you think, oh, you’re virtual, you can’t see me. So, this will be less nerve-wracking. But, no, it’s still nerve-wracking. Trust me.
EF: What great advice! Have a practice Zoom session with your friends and family. So, tell me about the past year for both you and Perfectly Cordial.
RC: Oh wow – so much has happened this year. When I pitched last year, I was still employed as a nurse. So, I was wearing multiple hats. There are a lot of us women founders that do the same. But I’ve left nursing. We have also increased our partnerships with other women-owned businesses. We redid our website. We also now have placement in several liquor stores. We still have our retail spots in Minnesota, Chicago and we’re expanding out in the southeast. We’re launching on Amazon in a month. Oh, and drumroll, please. In collaboration with Hudson News, we launched in the Nashville airport and are one of two Black-owned products for sale there.
EF: That’s incredible Look at what you’ve accomplished in less than a year. Tell me a bit of your connection to Nashville and what the city has meant for your business.
RC: We work with local businesses, vendors, and celebrities. You never know who’s going to be your next customer in Nashville. We received a call out of the blue, and someone wanted to order 200 bottles of Perfectly Cordial. We got all 200 bottles hand-labeled with love and ready for their new homes. I made the delivery and just so happened to ask……’ so who is this for?’ And the lady happily said (Grammy nominee) Mickey Guyton. We are also working with other country singers including Brett Eldredge on his holiday project. So be on the lookout for Christmas in a bottle!
EF: It sounds like a lot of exciting things are on the horizon for Perfectly Cordial. What is your mentality moving forward?
RC: Every day that I wake up, it’s like what new will happen. And if it doesn’t happen today, it’ll happen tomorrow. And if it doesn’t happen tomorrow, it’ll happen eventually. And a lot of times, I will have meetings, and I say, hey, man, we survived 2020. We’re all right.
Conclusion: It is possible to have it all – a family, a thriving business, multiple ventures, but the trick is to know when to ask for help. For example, Rhonda understood the importance of a high-quality pitch deck, so she hired a professional graphic designer to create one. Think of the possible ROI if that deck leads to multiple funding opportunities. Money well spent. Bet on your story and your pitch deck and apply to the Enthuse Foundation Pitch Competition.
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